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The new joint venture, SKE Global, will co-finance and co-produce a slate of local-language films in China, South Korea, India and other world markets. As SKE chases local-language audiences, former Greenestreet Films head John Penotti will join the indie producer as president, replacing Jim Tauber after his recently announced retirement.
The joint venture’s first moves include participating in Ivanhoe’s previously announced 10-picture India slate with Jason Blum‘s Blumhouse Productions and mining the SKE and Ivanhoe Pictures’ library of around 70 English-language films for possible local-language remakes.
Penotti, who continues as vice chairman of the Ivanhoe board of directors, will oversee that company’s Blumhouse deal and a separate local-language partnership with Fox International Productions, alongside SKE president of production Carla Hacken. Ivanhoe last year unveiled a $130 million co-financing pact with Fox International Productions to focus on local-language pictures in China, India, Korea, Japan and Taiwan.
“John is a long time collaborator and friend, and I couldn’t be more pleased he’s coming aboard as president. He is tireless and his plans for international co-productions, which he started at Ivanhoe, are very exciting,” SKE CEO Sidney Kimmel said Tuesday in a statement.
“Sidney Kimmel is the perfect partner to help Ivanhoe Pictures continue our global expansion,” Ivanhoe Pictures chairman Robert Friedland added in his own statement. The SKE Global deal was negotiated for Ivanhoe by Brian Kornreich and Gary Gartner, and for SKE by Ziffren Brittenham LLP.
SKE’s upcoming film slate includes Age of Adaline, starring Blake Lively and Harrison Ford, and Demolition, a co-production with Black Label directed by Jean-Marc Valle and starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Naomi Watts. Ivanhoe recently partnered with The Hunger Games producer Nina Jacobson to finance and produce Kevin Kwan‘s Crazy Rich Asians.
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